Estranged from her husband, and working as a cocktail waitress, Eileen has perhaps neglected her two small children—whose disappearance has brought about a visit by the tough-talking Lt. Brann. Obviously suspicious, the detective plays a cat-and-mouse game with Eileen, suggesting that the children may have been kidnapped; or perhaps gruesomely murdered; or perhaps are safely with their father; or may have become victims of the dissolute life style which he attributes to Eileen. Comprised of a series of contiguous, interconnected scenes, the play pursues the growing love/hate relationship which begins to build ominously between the tired, conservative-minded police officer, and the voluptuous woman who both intrigues and repels him. He drops by at odd hours of the day and night; he is sometimes sympathetic and confiding; sometimes hard and abrasive; until, at last, he drives her to confess. Then, in a startling turnabout, the detective tells Eileen that the bodies of the children have been found and the vagrant who killed them arrested—but his revelation only underscores the grief which the mother, for all her worldliness, will carry with her always, and the sexual confusion which their encounter has aroused in the hard-driving, relentlessly moral police officer.
A play of uncommon distinction and originality, which probes into the unsettling love/hate relationship which develops between a hard-boiled detective and the sexually alluring woman whom he suspects of having murdered her two young children. "Bell writes like ice—this is work hard, clear, and painful to the touch." —Village Voice. "Playwright Neal Bell has taken some brave leaps in his first play…" —East Side Express.